Marvellous bird-watching tour to Sichuan and the Tibetan plateau, spot two-thirds of China's endemic bird species.

Tour Map

Bird Watchingbg

Zhang

the best china advisor
“Gamebirds, parrotbills, robins and laughingthrushes galore”

Some of China's rarest birds make their home in the deep valleys, rugged mountains and high grasslands of western Sichuan, and this birdwatching tour is enhanced by the spectacular scenery and Tibetan culture of the region.

Weather on this Tour

  • Beijing

  • Chengdu

21-days to Beijing (1 night), Chengdu (2 nights), Wawushan (3 nights – one at base of mountain, two further up), Danba (1 night), Rilong (2 nights), Ma’erkang, Barkham (2 nights), Hongyuan (1 night), Zoige, Ruoergai (2 nights), Jiuzhaigou (3 nights), Chengdu (1 night), Beijing (1 night)

Image Gallery

Bird Watching

  • Tibetan house at Jiuzhaigou

    Jiuzhaigou

  • birdwatching in Sichuan China

    Sichuan

  • Juizhaigou, Nine Village Valley

    Jiuzhaigou

  • Giant Buddha at Leshan

    Leshan Giant Buddha

  • birdwatching in Sichuan China

    Maerkang

Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhaigou

China Tour Full Itinerary

Key: B=Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner

Day 1

London/Beijing

Begin your unique holiday by making your own way to London Heathrow for an overnight flight to Beijing with Air China.

Day 2

Beijing

On arrival in Beijing transfer to the 4* Novotel Xinqiao Beijing Hotel for one night stay. 

Day 3

Chengdu

Fly to the colourful and cheerful capital of Sichuan, Chengdu, to stay two nights at the 5* Tibet Hotel. BL

Day 4

Chengdu 

Get close to one of the world’s most adorable and endangered animals at the Panda Research Base here which both supports those living in the wild and also works on a successful captive breeding programme.  Meet your local ornithologist who will be with you until Day 19, and spend the afternoon bird-watching at a local beauty spot in the city, Huanhua Brook.  BLD

Day 5

Wawushan

Drive to the magnificent Giant Buddha in Leshan, a 233ft high statue hewn into the cliff-side in the 8th century, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, before continuing to Wawu Mountain to stay overnight at the 4*Wawushan Grand Hotel at the base of the mountain. Sub-tropical Mount Wawushan is the largest National Primeval Forest Park in China, home to 300 species of birds, 31 species of amphibians, 3,500 species of plants and also the Red Panda. On the lower slopes of Wawushan are evergreen broadleaf woodland, and deciduous and coniferous forests higher up with rhododendron and bamboo. A network of forest trails and the cable car provide easy access to all areas of the mountain.   BLD

Day 6

Wawushan

In the early mornings take the cable car to the top of Mt Wawushan (9,284ft above sea level), perhaps seeing its great display of azaleas between February and April.  Bird watching with your local ornithologist, sightings of the following are possible at different levels of the mountain - woodpeckers, cuckoos, speckled woodpigeons, shrikes, corvids, flycatchers, redstarts, tits, a dozen species of warblers, laughing thrushes, grey-hooded and golden parrot bills, Sichuan tree creeper, golden bush robin, golden-breasted fulvetta, Temminck’s Tragopan, Lady Amherst’s pheasant and Emei Shan Liocichla. Stay at the 4*Gongtong Hotel for two nights, further up the mountainside. BLD

Day 7

Wawushan

Take the cable car to the top of Mt Wawushan to spend the day bird-watching.  BLD

Day 8

Danba

Drive north to Danba, a charming and prosperous region of Tibetan and Qiang minority villages, noted for their slender watchtowers that were built both for defense and communication between neighbouring villages. The distinctive architecture is sturdy and attractive – houses are like mini-fortresses, and of 3 storeys, livestock on the ground floor, the family on the first and grain and crops upstairs. Overnight at the Wolong Shan Jun Wang Hotel.  BLD

Day 9

Rilong

Here we are close to the famous Wolong birding area in Balangshan, an area particularly rich in pheasants, and we may also see the local slaty bunting and Indian blue robin. Head to the Mountain of the Four Ladies, Siguniangshan, where the landscapes are breathtaking – jagged snow-capped peaks, lush alpine meadows, forests and streams. Stay two nights at the 4*New Siguniangshan Hotel.  BLD

Day 10

Balangshan/Danba

Today is spent at Balangshan, walking or driving to different high altitude spots for the best opportunities to see a variety of species in their habitats. Endemic birds possibly seen today include the snow partridge, Tibetan snowcock, white-eared pheasant, Koklass pheasant, golden pheasant, grandala, spectacled parrotbill, and fire throat. You will also visit Danba, a charming and prosperous region of Tibetan and Qiang minority villages. BLD

Day 11

Maerkang

Drive north from Rilong to Maerkang (Barkham) with birdwatching opportunities and visiting Zang Village along the way of crested tit warblers, Verreaux’s monal partridge, and three banded rosefinch. Stay two nights at the 4*Jiarong Hotel.  BLD

Day 12

Maerkang

Bird watching in the Mengbishan area, looking for the local residents – the Chinese white-browed or the pink-rumped rosefinches, white-winged or collared grosbeaks, hill pigeon, Eurasian crag martin, Hodgson’s redstart and white-throated redstart, blue rock thrush and winter wren, maroon-backed accentor, Himalayan red-flanked blue-tail, Severtzov’s grouse, blood pheasant, black woodpecker, Hume’s leaf and yellow-streaked warblers, goldcrest, Chinese babax, giant laughing thrush, Chinese fulvetta and Tibetan siskin.  BLD

Day 13

Hongyuan

Head into the Tibetan grasslands today, where shepherds tend their yaks and sheep under vast skies, and Buddhist chortens and nomadic yurts dot the landscape. The area is also known as the Red Plain, not for its colour, but to commemorate the Long March by Mao’s Red Army across this empty corner of Sichuan in 1934-6. Stay at the 3*Hongyuan Hotel. Search for the rare Sichuan jay, Songar and white-browed tits, plain and Elliots laughing thrushes.  BLD

Day 14

Zoige

High on the Tibetan plateau at Zoige (Ruoergai), visit the striking Dazha Monastery and the dramatic S-shaped First Bend of the Yellow River at the Sichuan-Gansu border. Stay two nights at the modest 2*Ruoergai Hotel.  BLD

Day 15

Zoige

At the vast wetlands around Flower Lake we find many waders and waterbirds, such as the black-necked crane, saker falcon, Chinese grey shrike, upland buzzards, blue eared pheasant, red crested pochard, ruddy shelducks, as well as black winged snowfinches, white browed tits, Tibetan larks and Godlewski buntings.BLD

Day 16

Jiuzhaigou

On the drive over the Lamaling mountain pass to Jiuzhaigou, a national park and area of outstanding natural beauty, we may see the Sukatschev laughing thrush, Przevalski nuthatch, Himalayan orange-flanked bush robin and ring necked pheasant. Stay three nights at the 4*Qianhe Hotel.  BLD

Day 17

Jiuzhaigou

Search for the Rufous headed robin who is rarely seen beyond the spruce forests in the park environs here, also the Chinese nuthatch, Chinese leaf warbler and Chinese grouse, sooty tit, spotted laughing thrush, chestnut-throated partridge, the Sichuan wood owl, spectacled parrot bill, three-toed woodpecker and slaty-backed flycatchers.  But perhaps above all, enjoy the magical scenery in this fairy tale national park.  BLD

Day 18

Juizhaigou

Enjoy the scenery and wildlife in the National Park. BLD

Day 19

Chengdu

Reluctantly depart from this beautiful region, returning to Chengdu for an overnight stay. This evening admire the traditional architecture and charming atmosphere of Kuanzhai Lanes. BLD

Day 20

Chengdu

Enjoy your free time in Chengdu.  B

Day 21

Chengdu/Beijing/London

Fly from Chengdu to London Heathrow via Beijing with Air China.  B

 

Key:

B=Breakfast    L=Lunch    D=Dinner

Tour Departure Dates - Bird Watching

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Holiday Extension

Before your birdwatching tour in China, fly out early to visit Chengde where the Emperors had their beautiful summer palace, high in the cool hills. Visit the palace, gardens and eight outer temples of the Mountain Retreat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive from Beijing to Chengde via the Great Wall, and stay three nights at the 4-star Yunshan Hotel with breakfast. Take a train back to Beijing to join the birding holiday in Sichuan.

Prices From:

£ 355 per person twin shared.

Tailor-make this China Tour

If you prefer to travel to Sichuan in a private group or to go at your own pace spending more time in one particular city perhaps, our tailor made tours are the perfect answer. Travel with your own personal chauffeur and English-speaking guide, available for any group size. Just call and ask our tailor made team to help you create your own birdwatching tour in China.

Prices From:

£ 95 per person twin shared.

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